It’s very hard to go around rugby circles without hearing the Aredo name being spoken of or yelled about – don’t be fooled however that this is one person, the Aredos are one of the most popular rugby families in Uganda; passionate parents and even more passionate children.
Joseph Jadwong Aredo is the last of three brothers all actively involved in the sport – despite being the last born, his story is the most illustrious among the siblings. Growing up, Joseph had no choice but to succumb to the obsessions of being raised in a sporting family.
As the story is with most children, you have to try your luck everywhere until the stars align; this was the case with young Joseph, his first love was football which he staunchly played around Kitintale often getting him in trouble when he came home late or very dirty. He was and remains a kop (Liverpool fan) emulating bigger brother Erasmus. He also tried his efforts in badminton during his primary days until he was introduced to rugby as he came to the end of his primary tenure.
Joseph’s rugby journey begins
He recalls, “………..the basics began late in 2004 while in his primary 7 vacation….” As coincidence would have it, the diminutive lad joined Namilyango college in 2005 but played mostly touch rugby for majority of his O-level.
“ I didn’t have love for contact rugby at the time, i was comfortable with the touch…..” The forces of influence around him were very strong however, he soon joined the contact side of the sport through the various inter class matchups in the popularly known Chaplain’s cup of Namilyango. He later joined the school team in their training sessions and eventually made it to Coach Fred Mudoola’s sides to represent Namilyango in both the sevens and the fifteens.
Joseph also took part in club rugby at a tender age when he made cameo appearances for Summerkamp (which has since then rebranded to Warriors) in 2008 in their games against Buffaloes in what was a play off match for promotion to the top league. A side that both his brothers played for and still do to this day.
After a lot of persuasion from the Kobs hierachy that had seen potential in the young backliner, he made his debut for Kobs at fullback in 2011 and the Baby Cranes (U19) in Zimbabwe as a scrum half.
Many questioned how a “small sized boy” had made it to the Kobs set up that consisted of legendary names at the time, his performances spoke volumes however of his character and the fact that size was nothing but an advantage to him as he sliced and diced through bigger forwards leaving fans and the opposition in awe during the league.
Size has not been a barrier for the utility back
He has enjoyed a healthy amount of success with Kobs Rugby club, winning 2 Uganda Cup trophies, 3 league titles, 3 sevens series and a plethora of man of the match accolades along the way.
In 2013, Joseph Aredo made his senior debut for the Rugby cranes 15’s side at kyadondo against rivals Kenya. He went on to make a couple more appearances for the 15’s outfit before turning his focus to the 7’s side in 2017, which he debuted for in Kampala at the Africa 7s tournament. He has been a part of that same set up, travelling to various destinations to represent the country, most notably; Dubai, CapeTown and Hong Kong at the HSBC world series before going to the commonwealth games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Jose, as he is popularly known, is currently on loan at Kenya Harlequins from the Betway Kobs in what has been a great migration of many Ugandan rugby players to the Kenyan league, possible to add some flair to the Simba territory.
Life besides rugby
“ If I am not doing something IT related, it is my love for chicken and keeping them that keeps me indulged…” Joseph is more than what meets the eye, he is involved in IT and is a serious poultry farmer as well.
How he Juggles rugby and other life aspects
“……. I guess you have to just create time for the sport and for life’s responsibilities…it is all about priorities”
What or who made him join rugby
He was lured into the gentleman’s sport by his brothers; Erasmus and Gabriel who took him to their trainings and games in order to, “ …. stop being a lazy soul.” according to his own words.
Favorite rugby moment
His maiden try for the Uganda Rugby Cranes against Kenya.
Worst rugby moment
Never winning the schools league trophy with Namilyango despite having a very strong group of players led by current Uganda Cranes vice captain; Justin Kimono.
Future rugby aspirations
Joseph sheepishly responds by saying “………hahaha retirement and maybe just helping give back to the sport in anyway that I can….”
Aredo comments on this by simply saying a name, “Timothy Mudoola” – The Kobs veteran is the player he has looked up to and had the privilege to play with, both in the Blue of Kobs and the National 7’s colours as well.
When asked about his favorite international rugby player, he responds by echoing the name Timothy Mudoola, ultimately stressing the point that the Kobs legend is at that standard.
What he would change about the sport in Uganda today if he had the power
“ I guess, the way people look at the sport…… it’s core values, the facilitation and the acknowledgement from the government to push it to a much better position…” he adds with an intellectual insight.
Message to the fans
“ I don’t think i have fans….i believe I have friends, colleagues and acquaintances…” he humbly responds.
Message to players looking to be where they are.
“….Never give up on what you pray for and what you want to achieve…and take every opportunity you get and give it your absolute best!”